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Home / Mac / Review: LG UltraFine 4K Display (2019) – two Thunderbolt 3 ports

Review: LG UltraFine 4K Display (2019) – two Thunderbolt 3 ports



After finishing the smaller 21.5-inch UltraFine screen, LG has released a new, larger 24-inch UltraFine branded display in place for the same price of $ 699. If the launch of the new screen flew beneath your radar, it's probably because much of the focus was centered on Apple's new 2019 MacBook Pro models, launched with LG's new display.

This new UltraFine screen is like a combination of UltraFine 5K and the older UltraFine 4K screen, and for the most part it is fine. The biggest feature is the inclusion of not only one, but two Thunderbolt 3 ports. It's an improvement over LG's former Apple-centric displays, which you'll see in our handy video review.

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Unboxing the new LG UltraFine Display

I've never seen an LG display unboxing before, then you know pretty much what to expect. But Apple apparently puts some demands on these displays, so they diverge slightly from the typical LG screen unboxing.

Initially, the stand is already attached and ready to leave the box. This is in contrast to other LG monitors, such as the recently released 31.5-inch UltraFine 4K screen I underwent, which should not be confused with this screen.

Another big difference with LG monitors sold in Apple Stores is that the power supply is internal, which means there is no unpleasant power plant to contend with. If you have seen how massive some of LG's power supplies are, you will understand why this is much appreciated.

Also in the box is a black 2 meter active Thunderbolt 3 cable, along with a USB-C cable for

24-inch LG UltraFine Display Video review

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Build Quality and Design

LG does not differ much from the design language in its other two Apple-approved UltraFine Displays. Like previous versions, this screen has a glossy screen wrapped in black plastic frames. The plastic is a pretty dense plastic of high quality as shown in previous models, and while not confusing it for aluminum, it doesn't feel too cheap and plastic.

 23.7-inch LG UltraFine 4K rear display

The back of the display has the same serious black plastic, like the swivel arm attached to the rear housing. The only consumer-friendly part of the LG UltraFine Display that is metal is the anodized aluminum stand that is black to match the house.

Unlike the LG UltraFine 5K Display, which featured a large pan to accommodate the embedded webcam, this screen omits the webcam, resulting in four symmetrical pages that are more pleasing to the eye. Unfortunately, the front edge is full of LG's logo on the bottom, but at least it is relatively small.

I have to say that the design of these screens has grown on me over the years, but I think that this 23.7-inch model is the best-designed iteration of the UltraFine series that we have seen so far. It looks pretty much like it can't stand out from the original LG UltraFine 4K screen, but the extra 2.2 inch gives a better desktop position.

Display and adjustments

LG UltraFine Display has a stand that attaches to the back housing using a simple locking mechanism. The stand can be loosened and replaced with a VESA mounting plate included in the box. This allows the use of a wall party or arm from a third party.

 23.7-inch LG UltraFine 4K Display VESA mount

The included arm is capable of telescoping up or down approx. 4.5 inches, for a peak viewing height of about 21 inches. The Pivot functionality is a bit steady, but it doesn't have the sophistication that you might imagine that an Apple branded display can enjoy if it's possible for such a thing.

Moving the screen to its highest position often results in the weight of the screen causing the stand to "jump" into place, and moving the screen to its lowest position, resulting in an annoying plastic crash-in-plastic sound lacking sophistication.

 23.7-inch LG UltraFine 4K Display Stand

LG has not yet entered official specifications for its new display on its website yet, but the arm appears to allow it to tilt in an angle of -5 ~ 25 degrees, the same as the outgoing 4K model. The angle adjustments, while slightly more refined than the up and down movement, are not as smooth as they are on the iMac.

The left or right side of the display head can also move slightly so that it can level the screen when placed on an uneven desktop surface. However, unlike the 32-inch LG monitor we recently reviewed, this screen is unable to rotate 90 degrees.

 23.7-inch LG UltraFine 4K Display side bezel

LG UltraFine's display quality is one of the finest desktop shows I've used other than the monitors Apple uses for the MacBook and iMac statement.

 23.7-inch LG UltraFine 4K viewing angle IPS

23.7-inch display has the typical wide viewing angles associated with IPS panels, has 500 light levels, and comes with P3 wide color display support. Like the other LG UltraFine displays, it has a glossy panel that promotes reflections, but the brightness feature helps to compensate for the smooth surface of the screen.

Resolution

The new 23.7-inch 3840 x 2160 60Hz UHD screen sits between the LG UltraFine 5K Display and the now discontinued 21.5-inch display. Because it is a larger device with less resolution than the UltraFine 4096 x 2304 21.5-inch UltraFine, it has a less dense PPI of 186 versus 219. This means that the screen is technically less sharp than the older UltraFine monitors or 5K iMac, but it still looks good to my 37-year-old eyes, and surely better than the 31.5-inch LG UltraFine 4K display that has a PPI of only 140.

 23.7-inch LG UltraFine 4K Display [19659002] By standard "Retina" resolution, which is 1920×1080 pixel-coupled, text and images are sharp but large enough to comfortably look at typical display distances. Additional upscale resolution options include 3360 x 1890, 3200 x 1800, 3008 x 1692, 2560 x 1440, and so on. Of course you can also run the monitor's original resolution of 3840 x 2160, but on-screen real estate will be ridiculously small and text is unreadable to me, unless you zoom up.

macOS integration

You may have noticed that the LG UltraFine Display Lineup has traditionally lacked any external buttons. Not as much as a power button exists on the screen, as all functionality is controlled via macOS.

 Brightness control for MacBook Pro Touch Bar

As soon as you connect a booted Mac to the LG UltraFine Display, the screen turns on and is ready to go.

 LG UltraFine connected to MacBook Air

Like someone who recently used a 31.5-inch LG monitor with physical controls, I appreciate having macOS integration. This means I don't need to interface with on-screen hardware controls to adjust the brightness, instead, I can do it more efficiently right from the keyboard thanks to the macOS integration. In addition, there is a small ambient light sensor on the display pan area which helps it automatically adjust the brightness without user intervention.

 23.7-inch LG UltraFine 4K Display Brightness Adjustment

LG UltraFine Display will also work with the True Tone and Night Shift features of compatible Mac hardware. These technologies will adjust the white balance of the external monitor to match the surroundings of the environment and shift the color spectrum to the screen after dark.

 23.7-inch LG UltraFine 4K Display Speakers

Adjust the audio output for the monitor's pair of steer stereo speakers follow the same pattern. There are no physical buttons to adjust the volume, as the controls are fully integrated into macOS. I imagine some users will connect to external speakers, even though the sound quality (in the smallest volumes, at least) is decent enough to just live with.

Charging the MacBook

The new LG UltraFine Display can provide up to 85W of power to a connected MacBook via its USB-C connection. This is a step up to 60 W max power supply on the outgoing LG UltraFine 4K monitor, which means that this device is capable of fully charging the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

 85W USB Power Delivery

LG UltraFine Display Thunderbolt 3 Connection

The biggest difference between this LG UltraFine Display and its predecessor has to do with the I / O. While the original LG UltraFine 4K display lacked the Thunderbolt 3 connection, and the LG UltraFine 5K display has a single Thunderbolt 3 port, this display has two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

 23.7-inch LG UltraFine 4K Display Thunderbolt 3 ports

The presence of two Thunderbolt 3 ports means that the LG UltraFine Display is no longer just an end point for MacBook Pro connectivity, but can actually function as part of a larger chain of devices thanks to its ability to

 Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports close-up

For example, you can easily connect two of these screens together – one of them most beneficial use of the second Thunderbolt 3 port – and connect them both via a cable back to your Mac. You can also use the other port to connect to a Thunderbolt 3 SSD, dock, audio interface, etc., which means the Mac can interface with these devices using the monitor.

 Samsung X5 SSD Daisy Chain Thunderbolt 3 Setup

You can even use the other port to connect to an eGPU, although that would be bad advice. For best performance, eGPUs should always be directly connected to your Mac instead of connecting with a thousand-circuit setup.

In other words, the second Thunderbolt 3 port means that this screen lives up to the spirit of the Thunderbolt 3 technology, allowing users to use a single cable to facilitate recharging of the MacBook Pro and connecting many of the other devices your way along the way.

 LG Display works like a pier via Thunderbolt 3

In addition to the two Thunderbolt 3 ports, it remains three USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps USB-C ports. These ports are practical for connecting slower USB-C devices, and also turns out to be a good way to connect external devices such as mice, keyboards, etc.

The biggest disadvantage of adopting LG's Mac-centric displays is that they lack some other traditional I / O. There is no HDMI or DisplayPort connection for interfaces with other types of devices such as game consoles, there is no 3.5mm headphone input, t here are no SD card slots, traditional USB A ports, etc.

The omission of HDMI and DisplayPort, in particular, limits the flexibility of this monitor, in other words, you will be all-in with USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 when you consider it, and be careful how it does in essential cases with their immediate lack of alternative entrance salts

Connecting an iPad Pro to the LG UltraFine Display

In addition to connecting to USB-C enabled Macs, the LG UltraFine Display can also interface to the 2018 iPad Pro via USB-C. This allows users to mirror the iPad Pro screen, and in the case of some apps, print an extended screen to work with additional content. I assume that such functionality will see greater gain when iOS 13, and all its corresponding iPad enhancements, launch later this year.

 iPad Pro Mirroring via USB-C

9to5Mac's Take

9to5Mac's Take

] Although no one will misunderstand the new LG UltraFine screen For an Apple-designed display, these devices are solid third-party display options for Mac users. MacOS integration, which allows you to adjust sound and brightness directly from macOS, separates this screen from other third-party monitors. The relatively clean lines and design, without physical buttons and ugly power, do the same.

 LG Display Speakers

The small hit for the pixel density, in my opinion, does not make much of the big scheme of things, which I really prefer to have the larger screen with slightly larger screen values. Text remains sharp to me when you run on the default resolution.

Although the screen quality on the screen, especially the telescopic arm, is not the best from a steady point of view, I can do it in a few times I might

 23.7-inch LG UltraFine 4K Display Logo

As mentioned, the biggest difference between this screen and the former UltraFine-branded displays sold in Apple Stores is the presence of the second Thunderbolt 3 port. Not only will a single cable allow you to charge your MacBook Pro at full speed, but it also lets you connect to a longer chain of Thunderbolt 3 devices.

For those looking for older HDMI and DisplayPort connectivity, this screen is not for you. For those looking for a game screen, it looks like it's locked at 60 Hz and has no "play" modes to talk about, nor is it for you.

 Thunderbolt 3 Cable

But for Mac users, especially those who are creative professionals, invested in Thunderbolt 3, this is a solid display option. With the second Thunderbolt 3 port, 85W Power Delivery, and increased screen size, I think it's a remarkable upgrade over its predecessor. I wish the price was about $ 200 cheaper, as $ 499 seems like the sweet spot for this screen when considering the power and limitations.

Users looking for better design, higher resolution and enhanced display technology can best wait for Apple's upcoming 31.6-inch 6K display. It looks like it can offer anywhere in the ballpark with a 6240 × 2880 resolution in an ultra wide form factor, and has mini-LED technology for enhanced contrast and black levels.

What do you think of the new LG UltraFine screen? Do you think it's a worthwhile upgrade over the previous model? Or are you waiting to see what Apple reveals about the internal screen? Sound down below in the comments with your thoughts and feedback.

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